Seton Hall Pirates at Xavier Musketeers – NCAAM December 30

Seton Hall (6-4, 3-1) at Xavier (8-1, 1-1) – FS1, 7 p.m. EST

Series:

The Pirates hoist a 12-10 lead in the series and have won by double digits in their last two trips to the Cintas Center. The road team has enjoyed the ‘W’ in the last four meetings in the series.

Vs. the Spread:

Both teams have been solid ATS as Seton Hall is 7-3 while Xavier stands at 6-3. The total has gone UNDER in four of The Hall’s last five games and the Pirates are 10-5 ATS in their last 15 games against the Musketeers. Meanwhile, the OVER has been the play in nine of Xavier’s last 12 games and that total has also gone OVER in four of the Muskies’ last five vs. the Big East.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Seton Hall +2½ (-110) +124 O 144½ (-110)
Xavier -2½ (-110) -144 U 144½ (-110)

Last Time Out:

Myles Cale had a career-high 30 points as he nailed 10-of-16 field goals and Jared Rhoden had 26 points and 12 rebounds as he recorded his third double-double of the season as the Pirates plundered Georgetown, 78-67. Seton Hall held the Hoyas to 34.3 percent from the floor as they led from wire-to-wire.

Xavier dropped it’s first game of the season in a 66-61 loss at No. 9 Creighton on Dec. 23. The Musketeers trailed by 10 early in the second half before a Paul Scruggs triple with 10 seconds remaining cut the deficit 64-61. After a Bluejays turnover, Adam Kunkel missed a 3-pointer at the final horn which would have forced overtime.

From The Plank:

Seton Hall Pirates LogoDefense at the rim may play a role in this game, especially with so many guards that can break down defenses. Pirates shot-blocker/defender Ike Obiagu has 33 blocked shots, but he is also susceptible to foul trouble. … Sandro Mamukelashvili (18.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg) is a tough matchup in the paint with his size and physicality.

He is second in 3-pointers made with 14. Jared Rhoden continues to lead The Hall in rebounding (7.6 rpg) and second in scoring (15.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg). The backcourt of Shavar Reynolds (50 assists vs 22 turnovers) and Myles Cale (43.5% -3) is a good balance to the Pirates’ inside attack.

Sword Play:

Xavier Musketeers LogoXavier doesn’t have a shot-blocker like Obiagu, but the Musketeers have done okay at the rim where six players have between six and nine blocks. Paul Scruggs leads the Big East with 6.7 assists per game and he has an assist-to-turnover number of 2.73. He is the catalyst of a Xavier offense of a team with an effective field goal percentage of 56.9.

Paul Scruggs is 20th in the nation according to kenpom.com. The Musketeers shoot 49.3 percent from the field and 39.1 from three. Big man Zach Freemantle (16.3 ppg/ 7.6 rpg) will need to be solid inside and on the boards vs. Sandro and Obiagu. He and Jason Carter on the boards can get the running game going for the Muskies and allow them to spot up Nate Johnson (28 3s) and Kyky Tandy (16 3s0 as well as Scruggs (17 3s) in the 3-point game in transition.

Winner: Xavier (-2½) 76, Seton Hall 72
O/U: Take OVER 144½

The Bets
Xavier -2½
-110
OVER 144½
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.